As eCommerce evolves and changes, so too are the ways that consumers interact with it. The demand for a diverse market is constantly changing due to rapid growth in digital technologies. This growth has created a unique challenge that requires continuous and immediate testing.
The likelihood of bugs, glitches, and shortfalls is increasing as interconnected technology continues to expand to satisfy the eCommerce masses. It is possible that traditional methods will not be able to handle these modern tech problems. This could lead to huge financial and resource costs. Crowd testing is a great way to test these issues.
Crowd testing involves a large group of anonymous testers who have a wide range of experiences that can be used to test your technology. This results in real-world bugs being found using real-world people who can replicate the customer experience. These data can be used to make valuable tweaks to the company’s user interface (UI)
Crowd testing is not a secret to success that only a few people will be able to access. It’s indeed one part of contemporary eCommerce best practices. Crowd testing is something everyone does. But why is it so important for eCommerce? How can you crowd-test the right way?
What is Crowd Testing? How does it work?
Crowd testing can be a cost-effective, real-world testing method that works across many platforms. We need to understand how it works before we can figure out how much more it is.
Crowdsourcing and software testing are two different things. Crowd testing is a critical stage in software development. It is essential that the software be tested after all the hard work involved in building it. Traditional quality assurance (QA) testing alone simply can’t keep up with the expanding amount of pages, visual elements, interactive content, and links necessary to keep customers buying in the eCommerce universe.
QA testing can be a bit outdated when it comes to the changing demands of customers today and the stress this places on software. Companies need to consider their requirements, what they hope to achieve, project size, and of course, budget when choosing a software test methodology. Traditional QA testing is costly, slow, repetitive, and can prove to be detrimental.
Crowd testing is a scalable solution to QA testing that can take over the QA testing responsibilities of traditional QA options. Software is distributed to remote testers who run it on their computers, tablets, or mobile phones. They then inspect the software for bugs, glitches, and defects and suggest ways to improve.
The Phases of Crowd Testing
Implementing crowd testing involves five phases:
Phase I – Planning and preparation phase
This is where companies define testing scope, establish background context, identify tester skills set, create test plans, and determine budgets and deliverables.
Everything must be taken into consideration in this phase. Does your business have the scope of potentially communicating with a large group of people, or will you need to invest in a video conferencing tool? What will you do to collect data? Who will be responsible to implement changes?
Phase II – Initiation and configuration phase
This is the preparation phase where test cases are prepared. Functional scenarios are created and the data required to execute test cases are finalized.
Phase III – Execution phase
Crowd testers have the opportunity to communicate, test, interact and evaluate your software.
Phase IV – Results evaluation phase
During this phase, identified bugs and glitches will be classified according to their severity.
Phase V – Completion phase
During this phase, results are presented and the test cycle closes.
Why is Crowd Testing Important for eCommerce?
Crowd testing is a simple concept with huge implications. Traditional in-house testing is based on a small number of biased individuals. Crowd testing allows for a more diverse testing process. Multiple crowd testers can use different platforms to replicate the real world.
Crowd Testing has many benefits
Software testing can be done on the streets, which can bring many benefits to your company’s testing capabilities.
- Crowd testing allows for flexibility. It is easier to integrate changes into testing when there are many people who can do the job rather than relying solely on automation. This is not only ideal but essential to meet the needs of customers.
- It is cheaper than QA testing. Quality assurance testing requires careful planning and expert execution. All of this work will add up. Crowd testing can help you save money.
- It welcomes dynamism. Crowd testing simulates the way real people interact with eCommerce websites in ways scripted or traditional methods cannot. Because testers have the ability to choose how they interact, this dynamic approach opens up the possibility of discovering more problems.
- Testing takes place in real-time. Crowd testing can be a fast way to identify faults. Faults that can be quickly identified can be quickly fixed. This allows for both fault fixing and retesting to occur almost simultaneously.
- The tester is the potential customer. Crowd testing is a great way to test your software. How better to test your software in real life than to hand it over to real-world testers?
How to incorporate Crowd Testing into a Bigger Picture
Crowd testing can be quite straightforward on paper but requires planning. Companies need to plan before they open their website to crowd testers.
- Describe the project’s goals
- Establish a budget
- You can ask them to choose whether they would like to work directly with you testers or indirectly.
- Crowd testing companies can be researched to find the one that suits their needs best
It’s essential to have a clear plan of action and to incorporate crowd testing into multifaceted eCommerce strategies. This is how crowd testing should be done correctly. What can you do to make crowd testing work for your business?
- Complimentary automated testing
Automated testing systems can still be a great way to help your eCommerce business grow.
An email verification system, for example, is an invaluable partner-in-crime when it comes to keeping up with both soft and hard email bounces. You can avoid soft and hard bounces by verifying your emails, which is a tedious task.
Automation can add value to your eCommerce company in many ways. A continuous testing method can be used, which allows test scripts to be integrated into code after it has been written. So, exactly what is continuous integration testing?
Continuous testing is essentially fully automated and eliminates the need to perform manual testing. Before any coding begins, test scripts are created. These scripts are designed to help the product do what it should. These scripts run continuously until the new code is integrated. This allows for simultaneous testing and fixing.
2. Work with a FulfillmentCenter
As absolutely fanciful as the name sounds, fulfillment centers are simply a practical way to outsource order fulfillment so you have more time to make sure things are running as optimally as you need them to. The fact of the matter is, inventory management does not need to take up so much of your precious time.
There’s more. Fulfillment centers are now equipped to handle customer service, including returns and exchanges. They even have a dedicated contact center service for their eCommerce clients.
3. Work with an Automation COE
The new ecommerce marketing strategy requires new approaches to best practices. A Center of Excellence (COE), can be a catalyst for businesses to move from outdated methods to more modern ones.
An automation COE, then, includes the people, processes, and technology necessary to maximize the benefits of automation within an organization. An automation COE can help you use automation to your advantage by identifying new automation opportunities and executing a long-term plan.
The eCommerce Landscape is changing
A successful business requires the ability to adapt, change, and grow. As software and consumer practices get more sophisticated, this is becoming more important.
Rapid technological advancement has resulted in a greater demand for software maintenance and upgrades that are as fast as possible. But beyond this, the necessity for a culture of quality has truly established itself within this sphere. In today’s eCommerce environment, both the employer and employee must strive for excellence at every level.
This has resulted in an eCommerce environment where slow and reactive testing solutions have been replaced by flexible and adaptive planning, continuous improvement, and implementation. This exploratory testing approach ditches long, drawn-out QA testing processes and replaces them with discovery, investigation, learning, and adapting on a constant basis.
The bottom line
Negative feedback online is just a swipe away and can completely devastate any eCommerce venture. Companies can’t afford to protect their software’s capabilities in an age where information is easily shared online. Crowd testing, however, can be a valuable tool to navigate these waters.
Mike Patel is a digital marketing enthusiast, innovator and President of a leading Digital and E-commerce Development Agency in Dallas, Texas. Mike holds a BS, Computer Science degree from Wayne State University and is a key player in the E-commerce development and digital marketing industry since 2004. The scope of technology in his extensive experience of more than 15 years ranges from Magento, Shopify, BigCommerce SEO (Search Engine Optimization), PPC (Pay Per Click) management, E-commerce SEO, Google Shopping Ads and more.